Element (Book 3)

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Ch 7 - Bound To You

I opened my eyes and I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the sleeping boy beside me. I was worried that I would wake up and everything would’ve been a dream, but I was really here with him. Despite the danger and the confusion, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

There are still so many things that don’t make sense to me, and the more I talk to him, the more I realize that he’s probably more confused than I am, and yet seeing the look in his eyes makes me feel better.

I was afraid that by admitting to him that I think I remember him, he’d stay away from me until I was sure, or he wouldn’t trust me because I was sent here to kill him. I mean, there’s no way I’m going to kill him willingly.

But I fear that the agency may just find a way around that.

I sat up and he still hadn’t woken up. I probably had a stupid smile on my face at the realization that he’d changed me into his clothes. My eyes zoned in on the huge dragon tattoo on his back. The blanket was resting just where the tattoo ends.

I couldn’t help but run my fingers across the acronym S.I.X.

I snatched my fingers back quickly when he turned over, but luckily he didn’t wake up. Instead, my heart felt heavy as I scanned his torso. He has a lot of scars, and there were two that were seemingly fresh- one on his shoulder, and one on his chest.

“I was in a fight with my fiancée before I was shot with titanium arrows,” he mumbled before opening his eyes, while I jumped back since I’d just touched the scar on his chest.

Wait, titanium arrows?

“It was you,” I whispered, tears filling my eyes at the realization.

“Please don’t cry,” he pleaded as he sat up.

“How can I not? I almost had you killed,” I said as the first tear rolled down my cheek.

The agency will clearly stop at nothing to make sure I suffer.

“Almost, and besides, you didn’t know it was me,” he argued, wiping away my tears.

“How did you know it was me?” I asked curiously, trying to stop crying.

“I’ve trained with you using swords before. I know all your moves, and you know mine. It took me a while, but I soon realized the pattern. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I needed to get the chip,” he explained.

That’s why fighting with him had my brain tingling- it was familiarity.

“And then Izzy shot you and now the agency has the chip,” I whined.

He laughed a little. “Hey, it’s ok. Well, it’s not ok, but it will be. Like I said earlier, we’ll figure everything out. We will save the world blossom. It’s what we do best.”

“It’s what I do best when I’m with you,” I corrected.

I highly doubt I do good work at the agency.

“Then it’s a good thing you’re with me now,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.

I giggled. “My, my, Xander, are you flirting with me?”

“Depends; is it working?” he joked.

I moved so that I was straddling him. “You know, I’ve been wondering why you haven’t kissed me yet.”

His arms wrapped around my waist, bringing me right into him. “Because blossom, I don’t take advantage of clueless girls.”

I glared at him and was about to give him an earful, but he found a way to shut me up and boy was it worth it. Ever since I’d seen his photo in my mission file, I’ve wondered what it would be like to kiss him.

And he did not disappoint.

I was getting more and more turned on, running my hands lower on his torso, when he pulled away from me. “Are you sure?”

“Are you serious? If you leave me in this state, I will never let you touch me for the rest of y-” he shut me up with a kiss, flipping us over.

“I don’t understand how you still have the same reactions to me, but it’s hilarious and I love you all the more for it,” he said before kissing me again.

I had no idea what he was talking about, but I didn’t care enough to find out considering the things he was doing to me. I couldn’t have been happier than I was in that moment about how I’d managed to avoid getting intimate with Izzy, something else he was mad at me for.

I wouldn’t even let him kiss me.

There was just something stopping me from letting him that close to me, and now that I was with the love of my life, I fully understood why I was so reluctant with Izzy. A part of me knew that I would be cheating on Xander.

“I love you,” I told him hours later as we lay in bed.

“That was random,” he said with a silly smile on his face.

“This is the part where you tell me you love me too,” I said, smacking his chest.

He laughed. “Of course I love you too, but it was still random.”

“Did they tell you about Izzy?” I asked warily.

He stilled. “They did.”

“That’s why I just randomly told you that I love you,” I said.

“Because of your ex-boyfriend?” he asked, clearly confused.

“I haven’t let him touch me since my return, and it’s something he was highly upset about. I just couldn’t do it, and being with you now, I completely understand why,” I explained.

He was quiet for a while. “Is he the one who shot me with the arrows?”

“Yeah, he is. Have you encountered him before by any chance? I know he tends to do things outside of the laws of the agency,” I questioned.

“It’s funny you should say that. We have encountered him before, and Winter and Carter were surprised to find that much out. We obviously know that he used to be a part of Cypher, though we’re still trying to figure out if he was a double agent at the time or not. We encountered him again, this time with you around. He shot Nick, brutally. Your brother almost died from that actually. Anyway, when you saw him then, you didn’t know who he was, or at least you didn’t seem to have a connection to him, which leads me to believe that your memory was tampered with again after you escaped the first time,” he replied.

I frowned. “What do you mean my memory was tampered with again? Just how many times has this happened to me?”

“I only know of three instances, though you told me that Franco and Frankie had discovered many other moments where your memory was tampered with,” he said.

“Franco and Frankie? The De Villiers brothers? Why would they help me of all people? I’ve tried to kill them like nine times,” I said in confusion.

“After you were taken, I figured out that Franco knew more about you than he had let on. As to why he helped you, I have no idea. I’ve been trying to figure out if he really did help you, or if he had an agenda for everything he did,” he replied.

I sighed. “I feel like such a pawn.”

“As much as it pains me to say this, you are and I hate it. I am yet to understand why all of this had to happen to you, but I’m sure that I will fight to make sure that you are no longer anyone’s puppet. I want nothing more than for you to just be your own person, for you to make the decisions that you want to make,” he said angrily.

I kissed his chest. “I don’t know what I did to deserve you, or what the future holds for us Xander, but I want you to always remember this moment, even when I can’t. Remember this moment as the moment when I told you that being with you is what I want. I want to be yours forever Xander. Fate has clearly been cruel to the both of us, but if we make it out, I want to live the rest of my days with you. If kids are in the picture for us, then I hope that they’re born as far away from this world as possible. I want them to have normal lives and never have to worry about anything. I never want to worry about anything. I just want to be with you, happy.”

He pulled me in and I was sure he was about to kiss me, but instead he kissed my cheek. It was only then when I realized that not only was I crying, but he’d kissed my tear away. He put his arms around me, letting me cry into his naked chest.

I must’ve fallen asleep because when I woke up, it was late afternoon. I was alone in bed, and I won’t lie and say I didn’t panic a little. I got up and put on his t-shirt and boxers before heading downstairs. I could hear him talking. He was standing in front of the TV, shirtless.

“He said Viola told him that Nick has gone to visit his grandmother in Australia. I think it’s worth checking out,” he said. I walked up to kiss his back, wrapping my arms around him.

“Who’s that?” I heard someone ask.

I moved to the side to see a guy with dark hair and blue eyes, as well as a guy with lighter hair and eyes similar to my fiancé’s. From the tingling in my brain, I was guessing that I know these two people.

“Who else would it be?” Xander asked in confusion, putting his arm around my shoulders.

“Well excuse us. The last time we spoke, you said things hadn’t exactly gone well,” the guy who looks like Xander said.

“Blossom, that’s my older brother Thales, and that’s Jayme,” Xander introduced.

“Nick’s boyfriend right?” I asked. Jayme actually reddened.

“I don’t know about boyfriend,” he said shyly.

The siblings laughed. “He’s your boyfriend.”

“I think it’s cute,” I commented.

Jayme’s cheeks could not get any redder.

“So madam, how are the memories coming along?” Thales asked me.

“I wish I could say I know. I just found out today that I’ve had my memories tampered with before. I can’t see faces, but I can recognize voices, I think,” I replied.

“Do you actually remember Nick?” Jayme asked me.

“No. I only know of him because Xander told me. I was asking him about you and Nick because your names are prominent in my memories,” I explained.

“Do you think it’s worth it reaching out to your dad?” Xander asked Jayme.

“It would be if I knew where the man was. Last I heard from him, he’d left for Argentina with Drayfus,” Jayme replied.

“Drayfus? Short guy? Curly hair? Speaks like he’s forever trying to charm a woman?” I asked. The three of them shot me a confused look.

“Yes. Do you know him?” Jayme asked.

I rolled my eyes. “He’s a pain in the ass. He’s my cousin. How do you guys even know him?”

“Remember the Super Soldier Formula I told you about?” Xander asked me warily.

I nodded. “He created it.”

“Wait, wait, wait. Drayfus created the Super Soldier Formula? Where are my brothers?” I panicked.

“Brothers? You know about Tyler and Tyson?” Thales asked me.

Once again I nodded. “I’m not sure why Xander didn’t mention them last night, unless if you guys don’t really know about them.”

“It slipped my mind, but we know them,” my fiancé informed.

“And do you know about them being triple agents?” I asked.

“Triple what?” the three of them asked.

I sighed. “You know how when an agent works for two opposing sides, they are known as double agents? Well, my brothers work for three different agencies, not counting the agency that I originally work for. So I guess you could say they work for four opposing sides.”

Quad agents just sounded weird to say.

Jayme shook his head. “Who do they work for and how have they managed to keep their covers for so long?”

“Their training was probably the most intensive, considering they’ve trained since they were eight. They were basically trained to be one in the same person, and many actually believe them to be quads given the fact that they’re split between four agencies. They work for the agency, Cypher, the BNK and The Order of The Kricxs,” I replied.

“The Order of The Kricxs?” Jayme and Thales asked, while my fiancé looked like he knew exactly what I was talking about.

“The Order is a myth,” he said.

“The Order isn’t a myth D. They’re real, and I only know because I’m a part of them too,” I said nervously.

He frowned. “If you work for The Order, then there’s a possibility you and I met way before you came to WPA.”

“WPA?” I asked in confusion.

“Your high school,” Jayme was the one to reply.

“You guys are giving me a headache. Firstly, what the hell is The Order of The Kricxs? Secondly, Xander what do you mean you may have met way before WPA? And lastly, Elle, just how much do you remember about any part of your past?” Thales asked.

“Ok, let’s tackle the answers to those questions step by step, and I’ll go first. The Order of The Kricxs is a secret organization known to few, except they’re borderline a cult. While other agencies are either about good and bad, and all things tech and missions, The Order of The Kricxs works a little differently. They have blood bonds, believe in things that are deemed unreal, take things like souls seriously and magic is what gets them through. We all know that The Dragons also use magic, but they use tech too. The Dragons are basically half and half, and the half that isn’t based on tech, is based on the beliefs of The Order of The Kricxs. The Order is all about the supernatural basically,” Xander explained.

“They only use magic?” Jayme asked sceptically.

My fiancé and I nodded before I took over. “It sounds ridiculous, until you witness it in person. It’s been said to be a myth because of just how ridiculous it sounds, but I can assure you that it’s real.”

“Ok, say that’s even the least bit true, how did you find out about it?” Thales asked his brother.

“I’m a part of it,” he replied.

It was my turn to be stunned. “What? You just said they’re a myth! How can you then not believe that they’re real?”

“Look, I was inducted into their organization and all, but that’s it. I never heard from them again. Three days later, the place I’d come to call home was attacked so greatly that it was destroyed entirely, and to this day, I have never been able to connect the pieces,” he responded angrily.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Cuba...” Jayme trailed off, looking like he’d just realized something.

“Cuba?” Thales and I questioned in confusion.

Xander walked towards the window, still in view of the TV. “The Order of The Kricxs recruited me while I was on a mission at The Dragons. I’d been there for five months when Imran and Leila Tsar decided that they want me to marry their daughter and takeover their dynasty. I tried to fight it, especially since I wasn’t royalty and they believed me to go by the name Coren, but she managed to convince me that I was finally home. What you need to understand is that for the longest time, I didn’t know what home was, but I guess I was sucked in deep into my mission because I believed her. I believed that being with The Dragons was home. The Order caught word of our engagement and they recruited me. Since I’d already seen the power of magic from The Dragons, it wasn’t hard for them to convince me that with their alliance, once I was crowned The Dragon, I’d be the most powerful being. I went through their induction process without The Dragons ever finding out, and that was the last I heard from them. For the longest time I’ve believed that they’re responsible for what happened in Cuba, which in turn means it’s my fault. I just haven’t found any proof pointing to them being guilty.”

Speechless.

I was speechless as I listened to him. My memories are all over the place, but I know what The Order of The Kricxs is capable of, and it’s a possibility that he’s onto something, but that’s not what had me speechless at all.

“Were you aware of your decisions?” I asked lowly, a lump in my throat.

He laughed humourlessly, and it sent a chill down my spine to hear him so cold. “Fate has been cruel to us in many ways blossom, so if you’re asking if I was aware that I was signing my life over to both The Dragons and The Order, then no, I wasn’t. My team and Jayme are the only people who knew about my mission to The Dragons in the first place. I was found in the rubble somewhere, having somehow survived the carnage. Seeing as Nigel is the son of the current Dragons, he was the only one who could cleanse me. It took three weeks before I was myself again. It would seem my betrothed is trapped by her parents to the point where she wanted to take me down with them.”

“So you’re not in love with her?” I asked, my stomach dipping.

He walked over to kiss me softly. “Blossom, I have never felt about anyone else, the way I feel for you. What I felt for Storm was caused by enchantments. I was never in love with her.”

Storm Tsar.

Just her name gets my blood boiling. Like I said, my memories are all over the place, but that’s one person I will neverforget. The next time I see her, I will not hesitate to kill her, especially after this new information.

“Elle, are you ok?” Jayme interrupted my dark thoughts.

I shook my head of the thoughts. “I’m fine.”

“You know her, don’t you?” Thales asked with narrowed eyes.

“You could say so,” I agreed.

“How?” my fiancé asked.

“It’s a long story, but it confirms your suspicions about The Order being behind whatever it is that happened in Cuba with The Dragons. They clearly didn’t let you in on the full background story. Basically, The Order of The Kricxs and The Dragons are sworn enemies because like you said, The Dragons believe in both magic and technology. They were formed by members of The Order who believed that technology should be incorporated into The Order’s ways, but when the Elders refused, these people left and started their own organization. Being an outsider, The Order of The Kricxs must’ve figured out that you were being controlled by The Dragons, which meant you were probably gullible and susceptible to their suggestions. They fed you whatever lie they fed you and probably learnt all they needed to about The Dragons through you without you even knowing it,” I explained.

“That is messed up on so many levels!” Jayme commented.

“Ok, let’s backtrack a little here. Why did you ask about your brothers when we mentioned Drayfus and the Super Soldier Formula?” Thales asked me.

“They are the first people to receive something similar,” I informed.

Thales rubbed his temples, taking a deep breath. “This is seriously an information overload, but please, proceed.”

“By saying that Drayfus created the formula, it all makes sense. His father created something similar for Cypher before leaving to form the BNK. It was administered to Tyler and Tyson when they were four because they wanted to watch the nanotech evolve with age. My little brothers are basically experiments, not that they’re the only ones actually,” I elaborated.

“What do you mean by that?” Xander asked, visibly confused.

“All these agencies were established with the purpose of creating either super soldiers or super agents; take your pick. Only recently have they become mellow in how they do things, but they all have some experiments or projects involving actual humans. For instance, I know for a fact that even before I was injected with the Super Soldier Formula as you call it, I was a project. It’s the reason why I go by the name Element. It’s not that that’s my code name, but that it’s my project name. I am Project Element,” I said.

The three of them were silent, and I didn’t interrupt their thought processes. I knew it would be a lot of information to take in, and only because unfortunately, Cypher is pretty mild in comparison to all other horrors out there.

Or at least the horrors that I could remember.

“We need to find my father. I don’t care what his agenda was for helping her, but we need to find him. We need him to connect some dots for us,” Jayme finally spoke, seemingly telling the brothers.

“I agree with that, which is something you and I will work on together. These two need to spend some time together,” Thales suggested.

“We’ll check on you guys later,” Jayme said before the screen blanked.

I didn’t know what to say to my obviously fuming fiancé, so I didn’t say anything. I had one of two choices in that moment; either hit him or kiss him. I went with the latter, and his response was instant, raw and all sorts of passionate.

He was livid, that much I didn’t need to guess.

“I’m so done with this world,” he mumbled onto my lips.

“What do you mean?” I asked, breathless. My back was against the wall, with my legs wrapped around his waist.

Don’t ask me when we got there.

“I mean that I’m sick of following any rules. I’m sick of being a part of any organization. I’m sick of being a fucking puppet. I’m sick of it all and I want out,” he borderline growled before kissing me again.

I moaned when his kisses moved to my neck where he was undoubtedly leaving marks. “You want to go rogue?”

“That’s exactly what I want to do, but only if you’re going rogue with me. You and I are going to get some answers, save the fucking world and be done with this life,” he said onto my skin.

I pulled his head away from me to look into his fiery eyes. “I’m with you the whole way, but it’s not going to be easy. You know that right?”

“We weren’t born for an easy life blossom, that much is clear, but what we do from this point on is all on us. We make the rules, even if it means pretending like we’re still puppets,” he replied.

“I hear you, I really do. We need to be careful though Xander. There are many forces at play here, very powerful ones,” I reminded.

He closed his eyes, breathing in deeply, before opening them again. “What is your name?”

When you are recruited into The Order of The Kricxs, you’re given another name, or rather; you’re told what your soul’s name is. There is a balance of sexes in The Order, and everyone is bound to someone of a different sex by blood as they believe that blood is the closest bind to our souls.

In terms of the ritual, they don’t pick your partner for you per se. They go through a whole process that involves chanting to the Spirit Gods to indicate to them who your partner is. They also believe that whoever is called into The Order has a powerful soul, so the ritual is then a binding of two powerful souls. Only your souls know what binds them- money, power, fame or love.

The whole ritual is anonymous since you don’t meet your blazaar, which basically means blood-mate, unless fate and the Spirit Gods intend for you to meet.

It’s both disgusting and intimate. They already know that your blood is pure when you are recruited, so as to avoid illnesses and all. You basically cut your palm and pour your blood into a chalice, which is then ‘blessed’ through some chant, before your blood-mate drinks it in your absence.

Yeah, our lives are more fucked up than you think.

“What does it matter?” I asked, caressing his cheek.

“I need to know who I’m bound to blossom. I’m bound to someone by blood, and that’s a big deal for me,” he said, tears in his eyes.

A part of him believes in the power of the magic and souls, despite him fighting it.

I wiped away a fallen tear, my own tears making their presence known. “Ellysia.”

I was a little relieved when he smiled a little. “For once fate was on my side.”

“How come?” I asked.

“Because Ellysia, my name is Raganor, and I am bound to you,” he said before kissing me passionately.

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